The Traverse City Arts Commission develops and oversees the public art collection - it supports, promotes, and connects the community to public art by fostering creativity, developing innovative programming, and supporting community events.

The Traverse City Arts Commission is responsible for the administration and overall management of the City of Traverse City’s Public Art Program. We connect the community to ideas and provide opportunity for artists. We collaborate with artists, art organizations, institutional partners, and local businesses and galleries to strengthen our community through art.

“Art surprises, delights, slows us down, sparks debate, and energizes us. Public art is an essential component of a thriving community!”

Public Art Collection

Traverse City's public art collection includes artwork that is located in public spaces of different use and scale. The collection is located both on public and private property and includes permanent works of art, temporary exhibits, rotating exhibitions, pop-up art, and annual events. From neighborhood parks to downtown streets and plazas, building facades to intimate spaces, waterfront parks to trails and public walkways, the robust public art program is sure to stimulate conversation and show community pride.

Public art is art with the social purpose of creating rich landscapes that reflect our history, embrace and honor cultural differences, inject a sense of play that makes passers-by smile involuntarily, create a sense of civic pride, and ignite our creativity.

Public art often welcomes people to town, marks a town center, or provides shade and resting space in parks. Some public art is sited in high traffic areas, especially places frequented by pedestrians. Other common sites include major public buildings, parks, neighborhood communities, schools, senior centers, libraries, police and re stations, and town centers where people walk and gather. It can also be infused into architectural elements of both new and existing buildings.

Permanent Works

Public art that is lasting or intended to last or remain unchanged indefinitely and is adopted into a permanent collection.

Rotating Exhibitions

Public art that is generally borrowed, loaned, or rented and is displayed temporarily with a pre-determined life span at the same sites every year.

Pop-up Art

Public art that is temporary and only on display for a short time - it could be 1 day, 1 weekend, but generally not longer than 1-2 weeks.

Temporary Exhibits

Public art that is temporary and has a pre-determined life span. Temporary exhibits can include many different types of public art including murals on buildings and walls, banners on light poles, murals on construction fences, or a digital or tech-based display at a festival or community celebration.

Annual Events

Annual events are a planned series of future events or performances, educational opportunities, and public engagement that may be through partnerships with other organizations or independently operated. Annual events may include the development of temporary art through community participation.

Heart Wall

Heart Wall

Trumpet Player at Light Parade

Holiday Light Parade

River Guardian Statue

River Guardian

Perry Hannah Statue

Perry Hannah

Coast Guard Guardian Sculpture



Then & Now

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